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Old 01 May 2015, 02:43   #1
Shatterhand
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Want to code games for Amiga

Hi There.

For a while I've been wanting to try my hand at coding games for the Amiga. Probably very simple stuff for starters - Simple shoot'em ups games, etc just to get the hang of it. I actually have been wanting to code for an "old" machine for a while, just to get this experience of being limited by the hardware. While coding for consoles probably would be cool, I want something that could be easily distributable and played on real machines instead of emulators. Either the MSX or the Amiga would be the obvious choices, as they are the "retro computers" I had when I was a kid..(and still have nowadays) and I just feel programing for the Amiga would be a lot more fun.

I barely know anything about Blitter and Copper and stuff. I know the theory about them, but as I never coded using any of this, I really don't know how to use them.

I do have experience coding for PC, I've coded in a fair amount of languages. As far as game coding, I've done a few games on JavaME back at the time (And also on MSX Basic, though I am not sure this kind of experience will help here ), and nowadays I work with GameMaker Studio.

I know coding for Amiga will be nothing like using GameMaker Studio - I do like to use it because it makes the whole process a lot faster, and I've been able to make money developing stuff with it, so I'll use whatever tools I need to get my job done

I really don't see myself going into 68k asm at this point of my life, it seems to be a lot of hassle for something that I want to do just for fun.

And I want to code for vanilla Amiga, I want to be able to make games that would run in my 1992 A600 with 68k at 7mhz and 1mb of ram

So, first, what people would recommend me as a language to learn? People back at the time used to brag about Amos, nowadays it seems most people would be using either BlitzBasic or Amiblitz. From what I understand (and I may be wrong), Amiblitz is more aimed to the more beefed-up amigas, right?

I'd be coding on WinUae so I could work with the best tools, get better compilation times, etc, but I would be testing the games on my 2mb A600.

So, anyone would be willing to give me any suggestions, any directions, so I can start learning this stuff and find out what I can get done?
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Old 01 May 2015, 08:24   #2
Bugala
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I give one more possibility to consider. Since you already have some experience with Java (I dont know what that ME stands for), you could consider using Hollywood: http://www.hollywood-mal.com/

Bad side would be that your games wouldnt work on stock A500. Actually, you shouldnt expect any of your games to work on no less than on an Amiga with a Graphics card.

However, the plus side is that Hollywood doesnt compile the code just for Amigas (Amigas as AOS3/4, MorphOS, Aros) but also to PC, Mac, Linux and Android. Which means that you would have an option of making a product to sell that could also be sold to more popular platforms than just Amiga even you are essentially making it for Amiga.
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Old 01 May 2015, 19:15   #3
Shatterhand
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I do have experience with Java. Java ME was a Java edition to make programs for Mobile Devices. Lots of Cell Phones had support for it before Android and iOS took off, but I don't think anyone uses it anymore nowadays.

The thing is that I really want to code for the stock A500/A600. I do already use programming languages that let me compile code for Windows/Mac/Linux/Android/iOS/Playstation/XBOX/HTML5 from the same base code. I don't have an Amiga with a Graphics Card and I don't plan to buy one, at least not for now.

But thank you for you suggestion anyway, it's always good to get in touch with tools you don't know
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Old 01 May 2015, 20:43   #4
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For compiled languages I should say your only choices at that time were C or Modula 2.

Both Aztec and Lattice C compilers are now available for free on the Net and Benchmark Modula 2 can also be found.
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Old 02 May 2015, 01:19   #5
clebin
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So, anyone would be willing to give me any suggestions, any directions, so I can start learning this stuff and find out what I can get done?
I'm tempted to do this too. I was thinking Blitz Basic - if it's capable of producing Worms and Super Skidmarks, then it's surely up to whatever I can throw at it! I hadn't heard of Amiblitz until your post, so I'd also like to hear a bit more about the pros and cons.

Chris
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Old 02 May 2015, 08:50   #6
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Based upon only very little experience with Amiblitz, so i might be giving wrong info here, but on plus side it seemed like it had implemented all the modern features (Graphics cards, Internet) and you can make games that work also on stock A500 with it.

On Cons side i would just point out that it is still a blitabasic and programming is hence done the blitzbasic way, which depends upon how you see if it is a bad thing or not. Personally my preference is C-type languages nowadays, and basic type is a minus for me in most cases (there are exceptions).

However, BlitzBasic is pretty good basic and it does have some C-ish style to its coding style while still being Basic.
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Old 02 May 2015, 12:19   #7
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That's what I was thinking too, if that Final Fight remake was being done in Blitz Basic, and that was more impressive than most things I ever saw done on Amiga, I think it would be good enough to do some nice, simple games.

I just have zero idea to where to start with it. And if I should go for either Blitz or Amiblitz.

I could go the C way too, but I think since Blitz is more geared towards making games, it would be more appropriate to what I want. I have no problem with Basic-like languages, after all, my first experience with Coding was with Basic (I still can code in Visual Basic pretty well too , but I have *zero* experience with Blitz Basic or coding anything for Amiga at all)
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Old 02 May 2015, 12:38   #8
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AmiBlitz needs an FPU to run the IDE. Stick with Blitz Basic 2 or even AMOS
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Old 02 May 2015, 13:19   #9
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From what I understand Blitz Basic 2 is more like C/PASCAL than it is BASIC.
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Old 02 May 2015, 17:01   #10
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Maybe C and Gamesmith (http://www.gowdy.us/~gowdy/Amiga/Ami...s/review1.html) is a possible way to go? Does anyone have experience with this?
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Old 02 May 2015, 21:03   #11
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Couple of big differences between blitzbasic and Amiblitz.

Blitzbasic doesnt support GFX cards, nor anything internet related. You will also be limited to classic amigas only with them.

Amiblitz on the other hand is not limited to these. But also, although Blitzbasic is limited, I dont think it is very hard to take your blitzbasic code and run it with amiblitz, since i am not even sure if there is any other difference there, except for more commands in amiblitz. hence it might be possible to program with blitzbasic, and then afterwards use amiblitz to compile them for more.
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Old 02 May 2015, 23:35   #12
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Hi, i'm in the same precedent, as the original post. I've bought a A500 of ebay, ive coded in my early days,basic on the c64, im an embedded engineer by heart hardcore c etc. forgive me for interrupting this thread. I want to learn hardcore c programming for the amiga. So were would i start doing this. Are there any C compilers with lots of documentation/examples available for this? please advice
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Old 02 May 2015, 23:38   #13
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Do it the old fashion way, 100% Assembler...
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Old 03 May 2015, 07:12   #14
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I don't want to use any GFX nor Internet stuff. I am really inclined to go for Blitz Basic.
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Old 03 May 2015, 11:39   #15
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@Lyndonhammill

There is StormC, which it was maybe less than a year ago they released the latest release, by otherwords, seems it is still even in development, and i guess the best choice.

And then there is this CD they released which has all kinds of important stuff. Something equivalent to Rom Kernel Manual Reference, and i actually think they even contain RKMR in that, but i just cant remember its name. It was maybe reelased by Amiga Inc itself. I do have it, but dont have it at hand to see the name, but im sure someone else will recognise it by my description and reply its name to this thread.

My guess is, with those two you are ready to fulfill your dream. But i am not C coder, so i might be wrong about that.

edit:
Name might have been about "Amiga Developer Cd 2.1"
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Old 03 May 2015, 11:53   #16
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Are there any C compilers with lots of documentation/examples available for this? please advice
SASC 6.58 is a good choice if C89 is fine. It should be on the EAB file server. SASC is nice when you're programming on an Amiga because it's not too slow, and it's truly a native Amiga C compiler, unlike gcc.

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Do it the old fashion way, 100% Assembler...
If you like assembly language then sure, otherwise stay away from it.
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Old 03 May 2015, 15:01   #17
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SASC 6.58 is a good choice if C89 is fine. It should be on the EAB file server. SASC is nice when you're programming on an Amiga because it's not too slow, and it's truly a native Amiga C compiler, unlike gcc.


If you like assembly language then sure, otherwise stay away from it.
I said that in jest

But there isn't anything wrong with Assembler, especially on the 68k. C is also nice. I just wouldn't go back to something interpreted like Basic myself.

What is the state of basic compilers on the Amiga?
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Old 03 May 2015, 15:36   #18
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I said that in jest
Somehow I missed that

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Originally Posted by Nosferax View Post
But there isn't anything wrong with Assembler, especially on the 68k.
Indeed. 68k assembly language is awesome.

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I just wouldn't go back to something interpreted like Basic myself.
Yeah, interpreted BASICs suck, especially old-school BASICs. Interpreted languages can be nice. Check out Lua 5.3.0. It's quite speedy even on a 68030.
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Old 03 May 2015, 15:42   #19
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Lua is nice. Python would also be great. I use it at work for automatization.
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Old 03 May 2015, 16:17   #20
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I can recommend Blitz Basic 2. Possibly AmiBlitz2 as well, but vanilla Blitz2 works fine enough for me though AmiBlitz has a nicer editor.

What makes Blitz2 a good choice is that it's a basic, so it's easy to get into, but it also lets you leave the basic framework, integrating both OS calls and assembly without pain. You don't need to dive into 68k asm, but in case you find out that a portion of the game is slowing you down, you are free to optimise just that section using assembly.

The big caveat is that the documentation is all over the place, and that there are bugs which aren't always apparent. Clinging rather closely to the Amiga hardware model, Blitz also makes initial setup of a screen a bit more complex than in e.g. AMOS.
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